Chinese Crispy Beef with Noodles

Chinese Crispy Beef with Noodles

This recipe was requested by friend Gemma in order that she could forego the expense of the Chinese takeaway. Naturally, I wanted to provide for this wee Scottish lass, but the idea also tickled my frugal weak-spot since one of my pet hates is perpetual takeaway eating – as Gemma’s request suggests, it isn’t particularly cost effective. Oh and your waistline may well benefit too!

To tell you the truth, so infrequently do I go to the Chinese takeaway that I had no idea what crispy beef was. Luckily, it turns out that it didn’t necessarily have to be a gross, oily and overly salty effigy attempting to depict Chinese food. Instead, what emerged from my wok were perfectly crispy pieces of delicious, tender beef coated with an extremely light batter. This made for a pleasingly satisfactory dinner and went perfectly with my cold, raw vegetable  and noodle salad. The salad was very simple, so I shan’t take up valuable space with a list of ingredients – it contained a little soy sauce along with lime juice, a bell pepper and some finely chopped spring onions.

In a way this little task, which I was very politely set, underlines the fact that I’m here, in part, to provide you with a service. My goal is to impart advice and recipes which allow people to save money. Therefore, if you have any suggestions or requests at all don’t hesitate to write a comment, send me an e-mail or contact me via Facebook. You never know, your idea may well get featured here! For now, however, please enjoy this oriental treat.

Chinese Crispy Beef

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

• 150g frying steak, thinly cut

• 2 eggs

• 2 tbsp cornflour

• Salt

• 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

• 1 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 carrot, thinly sliced

• 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

• A handful of beansprouts

• 300ml sunflower or vegetable oil

Method:

1. Beat together the egg, cornflour and salt and coat each piece of beef in the resultant batter. Heat the oil in a wok and deep fry the beef 6-10 pieces at a time. Each piece is ready when it’s crispy and brown – this should take 5-7 minutes. Set the beef aside.

2. Remove all but 1tbsp of oil from the wok. Add in the vegetables along with the sweet chilli sauce and the soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes on a high heat before adding the beef. Heat through and serve immediately alongside your noodles.

Cost: Frying steak, when cooked properly, can be exceedingly tender, yet it only costs £1/100g. As such, this entire meal is extremely frugal and should set one back, noodles included, a mere £2.80. I think you’ll agree; that’s much cheaper than any takeaway you might have planned.

114 thoughts on “Chinese Crispy Beef with Noodles

        1. frugalfeeding

          Haha, I’ve been looking forward to responding to this! I’m sure they would, but it’s their tradition and their culture – tradition tends to be anachronistic… it’s still anachronistic. I’ve no… beef… with chopsticks – I’d just rather use a fork. I would have put some in the photograph had I had a chance to pick them up.

          1. baconbiscuit212

            Oh, Frugal. chopsticks are no more “traditional” than forks — which have their origins in the RENAISSANCE.

            But I understand completely: It’s okay to admit that you just don’t know how to use chopsticks ;-)

            We still love you ;-)

          2. frugalfeeding

            Chopsticks are traditional to a certain area… Whichever way you look at it. The modern fork may have been borne of the renaissance, but they aren’t anachronistic since they are pretty much the most efficient and easy way of eating food, at least in their modern form. Forks are simply functional, chopsticks have been part of East Asian cuisine for around 3,000 years. I also find the waste caused by the chopstick industry to be quite disgusting – the figures are actually incredible. Everyone has their own opinions I suppose. I’m not against chopsticks as an idea… That would be silly…

            I can’t use chopsticks, you’re right. It doesn’t really matter. Chopsticks are slowly being replaced by forks etc… Though I think that’s a terrible thing, since they are an integral part of the way Eastern Asia has been for thousands of years. Historians don’t like change… :D

          3. frugalfeeding

            I love a good argument. Haha. Incidentally, forks were used by the Romans and Greeks and were adopted in Europe during the 18th century and North America in the 19th. But yes, truce! Hope you’re well!

          4. baconbiscuit212

            Oh, the anachronisms ;-)

            Interesting about the Romans and Greeks too. Funny, all this ancient talk about forks makes me think of the Roman habit of using sticks with sponges tied to the ends for . . . well . . . I guess it’s not very appropriate to talk about here . . . ;-)

      1. ohmygoodygoodness

        I posted your site on my wall on there and shared the link to this recipe. I tried this the other night, with a few tweaks for what I had on hand, and it was AMAZING! In fact, it’s a new family favorite! Thanks for sharing it!

  1. emily

    I absolutely love this. But then again, I am a sucker for anything that remotely involves Asian cuisine, fried food or noodles. Lo and behold, this dish may just be the holy trinity! Now, if only I weren’t so resistant to deep frying at home…

  2. Juls

    Beautifully crispy, delectable looking… but my partner would murder you for lack of chopsticks (he’s still forcing me to use ‘training chopsticks’ even though I insist it’s not necessary).
    I always enjoy bloggers’ posts concerning the ‘homemade takeaway’. I rarely eat take-out anymore and it’s good to see that people out there are creating comforting and economically pleasing alternatives!

      1. lifelibertyeducation

        I am a lazy cook. I think I made one recipe. I know I have at least taken inspiration from a few of your recipes. Just because I don’t use a recipe soon after finding it doesn’t mean I will not use it though…..I just posted a caramel shortbread recipe that I have been saving for a while. I made those on the same night I finally made a pumpkin and chili soup recipe that I collected about five years ago from an Asda magazine. I will get around to my crispy beef soon enough.

    1. frugalfeeding

      Thanks, Gemma! I hope you like it! I wouldn’t want to let you down. Feel free to FB or e-mail me if you want anything else! You could even text me requests if you like :D (not sure if you have my number any more…)

  3. Karista

    We rarely eat out or get takeaway, maybe our fave pizza once in a blue moon. I can’t stand the tasteless, oily chinese takeaway and would rather eat tree bark. Your re-creation of one of my fave chinese dishes is fantastic! I am definitely making this Frugal. My family will love it! I’m pinning and posting on my FB page too. :)

  4. Andrea

    Yum! Look delicious! Homemade chinese, although I have tried many a time, is not my forte… I think maybe I feel like a white girl frying up chinese food is just too inauthentic, and the thought colors my perception of the dish!

    1. Somer

      That’s the recipe I want too! Though that is the first meat dish I’ve seen in a long time that actually looked really good, leave it to frugal to make the vegheads drool!

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  6. Sanjukta Moorthy

    YUM! Crispy beef is one of my boyfriend’s favourite dishes, we used to get it from a Vietnamese place in Wood Green, N London – but now I’ve seen this, it looks so easy to make at home! Where do you get the steak from? Does it have to be a butcher’s or will a shop brand do?

    1. frugalfeeding

      It is so nice :). You should try it. I just got the steak from my local supermarket, it was locally sourced Welsh beef though. I’d probably say butchers, depending on the quality of your supermarket’s beef.

  7. Margaret

    is cornflour the same thing as cornmeal? or is that cornstarch? I’m in the US, and I suspect we have different names for certain ingredients

    Thanks!

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  9. mmluvs2ift

    I really want to make this. Could you please tell me what a frying steak is? Is it flank steak, skirt steak or none the above. I’m also in the USA. Thank you

  10. Paul Withers

    We tried this last night and it was excellent. We used Welsh black rump steak reared by our local butcher, hung for three weeks. Someone in the USA asked if he could use skirt. Depends which skirt – because skirt can mean two different cuts here in the UK, one of which would be ok, and the other would not be suitable.
    PW

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    1. frugalfeeding

      What a question to ask 2 years later :). The oil temperature should be just high enough to give a brisk fry – you can check it with a small amount of batter or piece of bread. I’m not one for checking the temperature of my oil! Thickness-wise a quarter of a centimetre would work well.

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